A month ago, Naomi and I started a new bedtime routine of “chat time” with Kai, intending for it to be a chance for us to talk about our day. It started off really well, with Kai eager to come up with stuff to talk about, and listen to our stories of what we did during the day as well.
Tonight’s chat started off in mostly the same vein, except I should have heeded the past few nights’ warning signs of “Papa, I’m a bit tired, can you tell me what you did first?”
So I told him about my meeting with an ad company, and afternoon rehearsal with Uncle Kumar, Uncle George and Aunty Jasmine, and thought he’d be really interested in what Uncle Kumar had to do in the studio when he suddenly raised his index finger and thumb and said, “Papa, this is a bomb, it will explode in ten seconds… one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten… EXPLODE! BOOM! Hahahahahahaha!”
I felt strangely proud this morning when I drove Kai to preschool. The car stereo had yesterday switched to The Hossan Leong Show CD (in the CD changer since 2009). When I started the car after strapping him into his kiddie seat, this song started playing, and Kai was mesmerized, and when it ended, asked what song it was, who sang it, and whether I could play it again.
Later at home, he recalled and sang the chorus, some bits of verses, and asked if he could listen to it again.
It’s called “No Outside Food”, Uncle Hossan sang it and Papa made up the words.
I forgot to tell him music arranger extraordinaire Elaine Chan made the music and decided it should be a reggae piece (there’s a Cantopop ballad version).
I’m just not sure if he should sing it to his friends in preschool though.
Kai learned the word “smelly” from Naomi’s mum, and to our delight, applied it when Naomi brought him to the zoo – he applied it on the goats at the kids’ section, where they had a petting zoo or something, I dunno, I din go.
Then last week Naomi brought him to the zoo again (we bought a family pass so we got discounted tickets), and again he said, “smelly”, or more accurately, “schmeowwy”. Naomi looked around for goats, and didn’t see any, and so asked our darling baby son what animal he saw that he thought smelly.
Kai pooped in his potty. Not once, but twice and almost three times.
He missed his hattrick only because I was busy putting the dishes in the sink and he went in his diaper before I could sit him down.
Then there’s the reading. About a week ago, he started reading the letters on his alphabet biscuits completely unprompted. He doesn’t get every letter right, and insists on calling the letter “O” a “zero”. We’ll fix that later.
And, unlike his famously monolingual father, he’s learned to count in Mandarin and English. And unlike his famously sinophobic father, he counts better in Mandarin.
Then there’s his teaching Grandma how to play Angry Birds. She can’t get over how well this 22 month old boy manipulates the iPad.
And when it’s time for bed, he carries his two favourite soft-toy friends – a monkey (which he calls Tarting) and a dinosaur (Didotaur) – says goodnight, and then walks to his room and to his cot, waiting to be carried into it.
We are so proud. But we also did ask him one night before giving him Tarting and Didotaur, to stay a baby for a while more, and not grow up so quickly.
It’s been a rough week since Kai’s birthday – with both Naomi and I under the weather with bouts of food poisoning, flu, and in Naomi’s case, a crook back that is a bit worrying, especially considering she’s had her spine surgerised before.
And of course, a one-year old never lets up.
Kai isn’t quite walking yet, but he’s learned to: pick his nose; climb the side of the playpen; point at objects (mostly food) he wants; drink (more like gulp) from a cup; drink cow’s milk; eat ramen; eat la mian; make a new noise-word every day (like Rararararara – even though he hasn’t heard any Lady Gaga); and more importantly, hug his Papa tightly every morning once he’s been picked up from his cot.
It’s mid afternoon and I’m sleepy, and before I know it, I’ve put my head down for a nap. Naomi pats Kai for a bit, and puts him down next to me, where he falls asleep in two seconds, and while drifting into sleep, I can hear Naomi’s breathing enough to know that she’s also catching forty winks, and I can hear Kai’s quick little snores, and I can hear my own breath against our bedsheets. It’s the best nap ever, knowing I’ll wake up to a dream.
This is Kai determined not to open his mouth to eat any more carrots.
In over a month of eating solids, he’s developed a preference for green stuff and for pumpkin. His favourite food is mashed peas, followed by mashed avocado.
He really really really dislikes papaya, which is the only thing that’s made him throw up. He dislikes cooked apple, potato, sweet potato and carrot, all of which make him gag, but which are not foul enough to make him throw up.